It’s coming folks. We’re now two days away from the NFL Draft, and with that comes the annual onslaught of posturing and hyperbole. It’s great. So come with us, and let’s drown in rumors together every day.
When the Rams traded out of the second slot they gave away control of the board for a number of picks. For a team with this many holes the decision is logical. With two first rounders in each of the next two drafts, Jeff Fisher and the Rams can begin to inch back towards contention.
Now picking sixth, the Rams are in a position to take the best player available regardless of position. St.Louis has been linked to Trent Richardson and Justin Blackmon, but there is another name to keep in mind: Morris Claiborne.
The Rams Secondary was absolutely decimated last year, and they ended the season with four of their top five defensive backs on the injured reserve. St. Louis signed former Tennessee standout Cortland Finnegan to a $50 million dollar contract during free agency, but in the NFL you can never have enough corners.
Claiborne, Dre Kirkpatrick and Janoris Jenkins have all visited with the Rams, though the LSU product is regarded as the only top 10 talent among CBs this year.
“Patrick Peterson’s advantage was his punt return ability,” said Matt Littlefield, the former NFL scout who now works for Russ Lande’s GM Jr. scouting service. “Peterson’s not a special man-to-man cover guy. This guy, Claiborne, he’s a press man-to-man cover guy. He’s going to have to learn to play some ‘off’ coverage. But he’d be a plug-and-play immediate starter. You’d have two shut-down corners in St. Louis.
For the Rams to have a shot at Claiborne, several things would have to fall into place. If the Vikings end up going with Matt Kalil, the next three picks are very much up in the air. The Browns are big fans of WR Justin Blackmon, and new Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano has publicly lamented incumbent RB LeGarette Blount’s fumblitis, leading some to speculate they would jump at the chance to take Trent Richardson.
The top 10 is quite unsettled this year, which will make Thursday night all the more entertaining.
Hold on, here comes more smoke…
- Dolphins owner Stephen Ross claims all football decisions made this weekend will be by GM Jeff Ireland and his staff. Miami must be terrified someone will trade up ahead of them and snag Ryan Tannehill, what else explains the bizarre last few days in South Florida? [PFT]
- Meanwhile, Dan Marino thinks Tannehill is ‘worth it’ at eight. No pressure, Ireland. [NFL.com]
- The Rams held a private workout for wide receivers Blackmon, Michael Floyd, and Kendall Wright. [St.Louis Post-Dispatch]
- The Jaguars really want to trade the seventh pick. Someone, please take Gene Smith’s phone calls. [NFL.com]
- The Chargers want to trade up for Alabama Safety Mark Barron. [PFT]
- No one has told Tannehill they will draft him. How does it feel, Ryan!? Because we have no idea either. [The Plain Dealer]
- Rumors of Melvin Ingram sliding down draft boards aren’t true according to Russ Lande’s sources. [Sporting News]
- Janoris Jenkins wonders why NFL teams find it strange he had kids in college. “Everybody has kids. Where in the book do it say you can’t have kids? It doesn’t say that in the law.” He’s right. [Palm Beach Post]
- Nolan Nawrocki’s sources believe Alabama ILB Dont’a Hightower has some ‘special traits’ which will make him a top 15 pick. [PFW]
- Nebraska CB Alfonzo Dennard was released from jail on $500 bond but faces jail time. He punched a police officer in the face on Saturday. [NFL.com]